If you run a startup, you’re in programming or the tech industry, or any industry really, you might fall victim to imposter syndrome. It happens to so many of us, but we might not even realize how it’s sabotaging our careers and lives.
You may have this feeling that somehow you’re a fake or you don’t know what people think you do. You’re worried people will find out you’re a fraud.
There’s something important to realize here imposter syndrome happens when you are more than capable of the job at hand, but you have self-doubt. Around 70% of people reportedly deal with imposter syndrome. The figure is higher for women and even more so for women of color.
Not being well-suited to the job you’re doing isn’t imposter syndrome. That can be a different feeling. For example you may feel out of place and like you aren’t listening to who you truly are and your skills.
With imposter syndrome, there’s plenty of evidence that you’re highly qualified to do what you’re doing. Despite that evidence, you continue negative self-talk, and it can lead you to miss opportunities. The people most likely to experience it in terms of their personal characteristics are those individuals who are perfectionists and high achievers most often.
If you’ve assessed how you’re feeling and it truly is a case of imposter syndrome, how can you combat it?
Separate Feelings From Facts :-
If you feel imposter syndrome could be occurring at any point in your life, prepare yourself to separate feelings from facts. You can be mindful and observant of what you’re feeling but at the same time know that it isn’t the reality.
Remind yourself that even though you might feel like you aren’t capable, the reality is that you are.
You don’t have to try to push your feelings aside when they’re negative.
You might even want to bring your feelings to light to other people, such as your partner or a trusted friend.
You could find that by sharing what you’re feeling, people close to you are going through similar things.
Stop Comparing Yourself :-
We all tend to get caught up in comparing ourselves to other people. It’s a pointless endeavor. We don’t compare to anyone else because we’re all unique individuals. You’re not going to be great at everything, and that’s okay.
Don’t put your own flaws within the context of someone else’s success. View yourself only through the lens of being the individual you are.
Challenge the Doubts You Experience :-
If you feel those imposter syndrome feelings creeping up and there’s no evidence to support them, then challenge yourself.
For example, if a new opportunity comes your way, push to make it happen. The confirmation you receive along the way that you are worthy is a good way to challenge the doubts you’re feeling.
Learn To Differentiate Between Fear And Humility :-
Imposter syndrome is not the same as being humble. Humility can be a good trait and one that keeps you striving to work harder. Fear is not a good thing, and it can hold you back rather than moving you forward.
Be Kind To Yourself :-
Even if you don’t deal with imposter syndrome specifically, all of us could use more kindness towards ourselves. We often talk so highly to and about others, so why can’t we do the same when we talk to ourselves?
The way you talk to yourself shapes everything else in your life. Turn that voice in your head into a positive one.
You don’t have to be an expert immediately, and it’s okay if you’re still learning along the way.
Be conscious about making sure your inner voice stays positive. Whenever you find a negative thought coming into your mind about yourself, you can challenge that with positive self-talk.
Repeating affirmations can also help generally reduce stress and anxiety.
Track Your Success :-
A great way to reflect on your true, viable successes when you feel like a fraud is to have a way to actually see them. You can track your success in different ways. For example, if you have a website, you can use metrics like your page views.
If you work in programming, you can keep track of your successful client projects.
You could simply create an email account where you send yourself notes each time you have a win, so you can refer back to those emails when you’re feeling like an imposter
Finally, know that you aren’t alone in these feelings. So many people have them, but it’s critical to take steps to overcome them.